Are you experiencing that your brake pedal has suddenly become all soft and spongy, and you can’t press it with enough force? Well, this is a sign for you to remove the trapped air from the brake lines. But doing it without bleeding can be a bit tricky.
The thought of getting the air out of the brake lines of your car to get the brake pedal back to the same efficiency as before without bleeding is quite surprising. Luckily, there are some other tricks to make this happen.
Note: Before moving ahead, if you want to know why your brake pedal is stiff and the car won’t start, head to the guide to learn more about it.
In this guide, I will provide you with a brief introduction to brake bleeding, along with taking you through some alternate methods you can use to get air out of brake lines without bleeding. I will also explore why removing air from the brake lines is important and list some mistakes you might make while removing the air bubbles.
So, if you’re ready to apply the brakes on your car again and achieve the same precision and efficiency, keep reading.
What Is the Meaning of Brake Bleeding?
If you are on this page, I believe you already know what brake bleeding is. But to refresh your knowledge, brake bleeding is a maintenance procedure that uses a hydraulic pressure system to draw air out of the brake lines.
Bleeding the brakes is a process that involves opening the brake valve, i.e., a valve pressed on each wheel cylinder of your vehicle. Once the valve is opened, the air stuck in the brake fluid gets expelled.
This process starts from the tire farthest from the master cylinder and proceeds to the closest one. The phenomenon of brake bleeding is quite crucial to keep the efficiency and effectiveness of the braking system. If your brakes are acting a little spongy and soft, bleeding them is generally the solution for you.
Methods to Get Air Out of Brake Lines Without Bleeding
If you don’t prefer brake bleeding to get the air out of the brake lines and are wondering if can you get air out of brake lines without bleeding, here are some alternate methods you can use to get this done.
Method #1: Gravity Bleeding or Manual Bleeding
When it comes to removing the air bubbles trapped inside the brake lines, affecting the functioning of the brake system in your car, the first method you can use is the gravity bleeding or manual bleeding method.
Gravity will be your biggest friend when you think of removing air bubbles from the brake lines. Here are the steps you need to go through for this method.
- Firstly, ensure that the brake fluid reservoir’s level is proper, i.e., it is filled up to the required level you need. If you have never done this before, check out the video mentioned below.
Note: Do you wonder why does my coolant reservoir keeps emptying? find out all the answers in this guide.
- Once you have checked the brake fluid level, open the bleeder valve. You will find this on the wheels or the brake calliper.
- All you have to do now is to wait for the gravity to do its job. The air bubbles trapped inside will slowly start coming out because of the gravitational pull on them. You must be slightly patient at this step, as this could take some time.
- Once all the air bubbles are out, press the brake pedal and see if its efficiency is retrieved.
Method #2: Pressure Bleeding
The next method you can use in place of the traditional brake bleeding method, i.e., the one involving a hydraulic pressure system, is pressure bleeding.
Here is how you can use pressure bleeding to get air out of the brake lines.
- If you are driving your car, pull out of it on the side of the road or in the garage, and don’t forget to pull the parking brake.
- Locate the bleeder valves on the wheel cylinder of each tire. You can find them at the top of each brake setup.
- Like above, check the brake fluid level and ensure it is up to the recommended level.
- Now, put fresh brake fluid in the pressure bleeder by following the user’s manual and link the bleeder to the master cylinder reservoir. Be careful that the connection is firm and secure.
- Pressurize the pressure bleeder to the recommended pressure level using a hand pump or an air compressor. You need to be highly cautious here not to over-pressurize the bleeder, as this could cause significant damage to the brake system.
- Start the process from the wheel farthest from the cylinder and proceed to the closest one.
- Once the valve is located, attach a hose from the bleeder kit and place the other hose opening into a bucket where the expelled fluid can be collected.
- Use the pressure in the system to open the bleeder valve. As you keep on applying the pressure, you will find the fluid, along with the air bubbles, reaching the container.
- Repeat the process on all wheels and keep doing this until you see the fluid coming to the containing is finally free of any air bubbles.
- Use a screwdriver to tighten all the bleeder valves and check for the problem.
Method #3: Vacuum Pump Bleeding
You can also use the vacuum pump bleeding method to get air out of the brake lines. As the name suggests, this method creates a vacuum that eventually pulls out the brake fluid and air bubbles from the brake lines.
For this method to work, you must attach the pump to the bleeder valve of each wheel and draw bubbles out of the lines. The best part about this method is that it takes the least amount of time, and the equipment used in this method, i.e., the vacuum bleeding kits, can be easily found at any auto-repair shop.
Method #4: Driving the Car
If none of the above methods has helped you get the air out of the brake lines of your car without using the hydraulic pressure system, you can simply take your car out on a drive. Driving your vehicle at a smooth speed for some time might work in dodging the air bubbles trapped inside the brake lines out of the car.
Don’t drive at a high speed, and keep increasing the speed gradually until the brake pedal starts performing efficiently again.
Note: Does the clutch pedal of your car stick to the floor sometimes? In this guide, I have explained the potential reasons behind it and the possible fixes you can try.
Method #5: Pump/Hit the Brake Pedal
Another method that has seemingly worked for a lot of users is to pump the brake pedal continuously. Though you might struggle to pump the pedal with full force, considering its spongy nature, being consistent with this can get the air bubbles out of the brake lines without bleeding.
Why Remove Air From the Brake Lines?
If you are still unsure of why you need to remove air or get the air bubbles out of the brake lines, I have listed some reasons below for you so you understand how serious the situation is.
- The first and most crucial reason compelling you to get air bubbles out of the brake lines is your safety. If the brake system of your car isn’t working efficiently due to some tiny air bubbles, you would be risking a lot.
- A good vehicle is known for its braking system. If the brake system of your car is smooth and precise, it would mean that you are all safe on the road. Also, getting the air bubbles out of the system ensures a smooth brake performance.
- An air-filled brake line would indirectly mean a spongy brake pedal, which would take control of your vehicle from your hand, leaving it on the number of air bubbles inside these lines, i.e., to uncertainty, and you won’t want that, right?
So, all things considered, if you want to avoid ending up in an accident, getting the air out of the brake lines is highly crucial.
Conclusion – How Do You Get Air Out of Your Brakes Without Bleeding?
This is all about brake bleeding and removing air bubbles trapped inside the brake lines without using the traditional brake bleeding method.
In this write-up, I have not only introduced the process of brake bleeding to you once again but also provided you with a list of alternate methods you can try. I also took you through some reasons why getting the air out of the brake lines is essential.
Hopefully, this guide has got you covered, and the next time you feel your brake pedal getting all spongy and unresponsive, use any of the above-mentioned methods to retrieve the lost efficiency!
Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions or queries.